Members of the WSP honor guard prepare in the wings of the state Senate before opening ceremonies.
OLYMPIA -- With the sides flipped between Republicans and Democrats on the floor of the Senate, the Legislature got underway at noon today with the usual pomp and circumstances:
Washington State Patrol honor guard to bring in the flag.
An acapella group to sing the National Anthem.
Greetings from the Lake Fair Queen.
There was more activity than normal on that floor before noon, as Republicans moved to the left side of the floor and Democrats to the right (that is, as one looks in from the doorway or down from the gallery). By tradition, the majority sits on the left,( or president's right) just outside the offices of the Majority Leader, and the minority sits on the other side.That required the changing of name plates and cleaning of desks by maintenance staff, who finished their tasks with just minutes to spare.
The chambers now go about the procedural task of swearing in new members.